As we continue to add more new content to our website, we want to make it easy for our visitors to use.
One of the most important things we want to point out is that you can subscribe to the blog here on the site. This means if you go to the Blog tab and look on the right side, you will find a place to enter your email. If you do that, you will be automatically updated every time there is a new blog posted! This is important because our front page is static or doesn’t change. The reason we did this was to have one front page which is the same to welcome all visitors, including those who are new to our site and our church.
We have a whole list of new content we are working to add over the next few months, including information on our new Staff tab and our new World Outreach tab. We work to bring you Pastor Bowman’s weekly sermon (after we have had a few technical difficulties!) in a timely fashion.
One of the biggest things we would love to have from our congregation are testimonials about your experience with our church. You can either be noted on the testimonial, have an alias if you don’t want to use your real name for privacy purposes, or be listed as anonymous. You can submit your testimonials to us through our Contact tab.
Through the Contact tab, you can also submit questions, feedback, suggestions, and anything else you would like for the website! All content is screened by Pastor Richard and Marie Payne-Bowman.
We look forward to hearing from you!
“Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, to the saints in Ephesus, the faithful in Christ Jesus. Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ”
Paul greets the Ephesian congregation, referring to them as “saints,” and then explains that a saint is a person who lives faithfully in Christ Jesus. Note this carefully. A mature Christian is not one who merely professes faith in Jesus. He is one who strives to live faithfully. Note also this common Pauline phrase, “in Christ.” Faithful living takes place only when we are “in Christ.” Through faith a marvelous thing has happened. Christ dwells in us, and we live in Christ. It is only when our souls are united with the Spirit of Jesus that we are able to live faithfully.
If Christ is seen by us as one who is external to us, we shall fail miserably in the Christian life. We are in the “immature” category. Immature believers are redeemed, but not of much use in the Kingdom of God on earth. Christ is present in an immature believer, but largely ignored. In order to serve God faithfully, Christ must be in us and we must be in Christ, and we must faithfully follow Him. It is His presence within the human soul which provides the motivation and the power for us to live faithfully. A Christian is a person who is in union with Jesus. A mature Christian in one who lives in the light of that truth. An immature Christian ignores His presence. Which one are you?
Thank You Jesus for coming to dwell with us. Help me to realize daily Your presence and to live under Your direction. I want to be a mature Christian, of use in the Kingdom of God. May Jesus Christ be honored by my daily choices, Amen.
DEVOTION, January 15, 2021
Paul had encountered Christ on the Damascus Road. After three days of blindness, Paul was healed through the intervention of a follower of Jesus named Ananias. At that moment, Paul’s previous goals for his life began to look like garbage. That’s how he describes his previous life goals. “But whatever were gains to me I now consider loss for the sake of Christ. What is more, I consider everything a loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them garbage . . .” Later, in this same passage, he declares, “I want to know Christ—yes, to know the power of his resurrection and participation in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, and so, somehow, attaining to the resurrection from the dead.”
Still later he sums up his new goal: “I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.” Now Paul had only one goal—to serve Jesus Christ. Wouldn’t it be great to have only one primary goal in life? One goal that you knew in your heart was the purpose God made you for? This is it. You were made to serve Jesus Christ. You were made to live out Jesus’ values and priorities. You were made to do good works that express your love for Jesus. And if God made you for that purpose, then it is only in serving Jesus Christ that you will find your identity and peace and fulfillment. No other goal will satisfy you.
Father. I thank You for drawing me to Jesus, my Savior. While I have many goals in life, help me to see that my one primary goal is to serve Him. May my thoughts, words, and deeds bring honor to His holy name. Amen.
DAILY DEVOTIONAL, Jan. 13, 2021
Jesus is the answer to humanity’s suffering and sin. He has come to us, but so many have yet to receive him. What He offers us is Himself. We want hope. He is hope. We want peace. He is peace. We want love. He is love. The problem is many want hope, but do not want Him. Many want peace, but do not want Him. Many want love, but do not want Him. People long to see a world without suffering or sin, a world of peace and harmony, but do not want to open their lives to Him so that he might begin his healing and reconciling work. There is no other way. Jesus alone is the way, the truth, and the life.
It is strange to think of the links to which God has gone to bring us the things for which we long. His Son left the glory of heaven to identify with us, taking on our humanity. He took the judgment we deserve when He went to the cross. He promises us the forgiveness of sins and eternal life if we will just trust Him. Love, hope, peace, wisdom, etc….all these things are ours if we will trust Him. Jesus has done all the work. Will we trust Him and receive His blessings?
Holy Father, I often wonder why so many pay scant attention to Your Son. He has provided for us all the blessings of God for which we long, yet many resist Him. Open my eyes that I may see more clearly what Christ has done for me. In Huis blessed name I pray, Amen.
Devotion, Jan. 12, 2021, Judgment
“For the time has come for judgment to begin at the house of God; and if it begins with us first, what will be the end of those who do not obey the Gospel of God?” (1 Peter 4:17).
The house of God is the church. God warns us that divine judgment will fall on the unfaithful church. It is not a judgment of final condemnation. Christians, even unfaithful ones who believe in Jesus, will be saved. It is a warning that while unfaithfulness does not cancel salvation for believers, it does invite divine judgment. As we look at what is happening in our country today, I wonder if judgment is falling on the church. I am not a prophet, so I can’t speak with authority, but I wonder how much responsibility the church bears for the spiritual decline in our country.
The second half of our verse refers to those who reject the Gospel. If God brings punishment to His unfaithful people, what will He do to those who reject Him? It seems clear that our country is moving farther away from our spiritual/Christian heritage. Is America ripe for judgment? Again, I can’t speak with authority, but I do wonder.
All we can do as a church and as individual Christians is reaffirm our faith in Jesus and work and pray for God’s will to be done in our nation. If we are headed for a time of national judgment, I am confident that God will watch over His faithful people. The bottom line from our verse is this: be prepared for anything!
Father, I am concerned about events happening in our country. I pray that Your church will strive for greater faithfulness. We want to be light in a world increasing in darkness. We pray in Jesus name, Amen.
We have been holding church services through most of the pandemic and so far no one has gotten sick from attending church. We thank God and continue to pray for His protection. While attendance is way down that is understandable. We have families with health conditions who do not want to take unnecessary chances. We look forward to seeing everyone again when this pandemic is over. 2020 is a year to remember and a year to forget!
Board members, remember we meet tonight (Monday, 1/11) at 6 PM. We have several important items to discuss. As usual, we will wear masks and socially distance.
Wednesday Bible study will continue our focus on discipleship. I believe we will have an interesting discussion concerning what we expect following Christ will bring to us, and what the Bible actually says we can expect as Christians. Of course, all are welcome and we will be wearing masks and socially distancing.
On Sunday, January 17th, we continue the sermon series from Genesis. Our focus will be on Cain and Able.
May you all have a blessed, Covid free week.